The book starts by preparing the reader for the topic and methods used. Campbell then moves through the history of the doctrine. He then dives into the heavier exegetical study of all the references to union with Christ in Paul and looks at how it impacts and connects with other major doctrines. He also looks at each phrase associated with this doctrine and teases out a well-rounded meaning. One of my favorites section was his exegetical work in the metaphors commonly used when discussing union with Christ (i.e., body of Christ, temple, building, marriage, etc). He really pushes against the individualistic emphasis in American Christianity and draws our attention to the corporate beauty of our salvation.
The final section moves from the exegetical to the theological. You might think that such a heavy exegetical and theological book would fail to be practical but Campbell has done a masterful job unpacking the deep and rich significance of our union with Christ and Christ’s union with the Father for our Christian living. Campbell left no stone unturned.
This book is worthy of being read by all church leaders. We need the deep exegetical and theological wells unearthed in Paul and Union with Christ to be shared with every body. Pastors must primarily be responsible for this and so it’s to pastors who I would primarily recommend this book. But it would also be worth the hard work for lay Christians. Something are just important enough that you should lay aside your fears of hard reading and just set your nose to the grind.